Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Decline of the Ancient Nature Goddesses.

    The Decline of the Ancient Nature Goddesses.             

      Henceforth, caves, wells, cows, boxes and chests, arks, etc., stand for or symbolize the female power. We are given to understand, however, that for ages these symbols were as holy as the God himself, and among many peoples even more revered and worshipped.

We have seen that the ancients knew that matter and force were alike indestructible. According to their doctrine all Nature proceeded from the sun. Hence the power back of the sun, which they worshipped as the Destroyer or Regenerator, or, in other words, as the mother of the sun, was the Great Aum or Om, the Aleim or Elohim, who was the indivisible God. The creative agency which proceeded from the sun was both male and female, yet one in essence. Later, the male appeared as spirit, the female as matter. Spirit was something above and independent of Nature.

It had indeed created matter from nothing. The fact will be remembered that man claimed supremacy over woman on the ground that the male is spirit, while the female is only matter; in other words, that she was simply a covering for the soul, which is divine.

Thus was the god-idea divorced from Nature, and a masculine principle, outside and independent of matter, set up as a personal potentate or ruler over the universe.

The logic by which the great female principle in the Deity has been eliminated, and the subterfuges which have been and still are employed to construct and sustain a Creator who of himself is powerless to create, is as amusing as it is suggestive, and forcibly recalls to mind la couvade, in which, among certain tribes, the father, assuming all the duties of procreation, goes to bed when a child is born

   The fact is observed that in course of time the governmental powers are no longer in the hands of the people; the masses have become enslaved. Their rulers are priests–deified tyrants who are unable to maintain their authority except through the ignorance and credulity of the masses. Hence one is not surprised to find that the change which took place at a certain stage of human growth in respect to the manner of reckoning descent was instigated and enforced by religion. Apollo had declared that woman is but the nurse to her own offspring. Neither is it remarkable at this stage in the human career, as women had lost their position as heads of families, and as they were no longer recognized as of kin to their children, that man should have attempted to lessen the importance of the female element in the god-idea.

Wherever in the history of the human race we observe a change in the relations of the sexes involving greater or more oppressive restrictions on the natural rights of women, such change, whether it assume a legal, social, or religious form, will, if traced to its source, always be found deeply rooted in the wiles of priestcraft. Since the decay of the earliest form of religion, namely, Nature-worship, the gods have never been found ranged on the side of women.

When women, who had become the legitimate plunder not only of individuals but of bands of warriors whose avowed object was the capture of women for wives, had degenerated into mere tools or instruments for the gratification and pleasure of men, Perceptive Wisdom or Light, and Maternal Affection the Preserver of the race, gradually became eliminated from the god-idea of mankind. Passion became God. It was the Creator in the narrowest and most restricted sense.

Although in an age of pure Nature-worship the ideas connected with reproduction, like those related to all other natural functions, were wholly unconnected with impurity either of thought or deed, still when an age arrived in which all checks to human passion had been withdrawn, and the lower propensities had gained dominion over the higher faculties, the influence of fertility or passion-worship on human development or growth may in a degree be imagined.

The fact must be borne in mind that curing the later ages of passion-worship the creative processes and the reproductive organs were deified, not as an expression or symbol of the operations of Nature, but as a means to the stimulation of the lower animal instincts in man.

With religion bestialized and its management regulated wholly with an idea to the gratification of man’s sensuous desires, religious temples, under the supervision of the priesthood, became brothels, in which were openly practiced as part and parcel of religious rites and ceremonies the most wanton profligacy and the most shameless self-abandonment. The worship of Aphrodite or Venus, and also that of Bacchus, originally consisted in homage paid to the reproductive principles contained in the earth, water, and sun, but, as is well known, this pure and beautiful worship, in later times, and especially after it was carried to Greece, became synonymous with the grossest practices and the most lawless disregard of human decency.

With the light which in these later ages science and ethnological research are throwing upon the physiological and religious disputes of the ancients, the correctness of the primitive doctrines elaborated under purer conditions at an age when human beings lived nearer to Nature is being proved–namely, that matter like spirit is eternal and indestructible, and therefore that the one is as difficult of comprehension as the other, and that Nature, instead of being separated from spirit, is filled with it and can not be divorced from it; also that the female is the original organic unit of creation, without which nothing is or can be created.